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  1. #1
    Davec101's Avatar
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    Techniques for coating large alt process prints

    I am planning on printing up quite large cyanotype prints 30”x24” and wanted to see whether others had any advice on coating this large. B&S said they would make me a puddle pusher measuring 25” which I hope should help, although I expect there will be a learning curve for such a large implement.

    While surfing I did stumble across video of a platinum printer who uses a rod and a brush to coat quite large prints (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gprrYmUCgzw), however I don’t think I will have as much time to play around with the sensitiser as him as the paper I use absorbs significantly more than his.

    There is a lady who is represented by the same gallery as me who prints 80” x 60“ cyanotypes (see pic) and have know idea how one coats that large reliably, however its probably best I stick to half that size for the moment as that is enough for me!

    Any tips or techniques would be appreciated, thanks
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Large Cyan print.jpg  
    Last edited by Davec101; 02-18-2009 at 05:27 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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  2. #2

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    David,

    30"x24" is certainly a significant step up in size from your approximately 8"x10"? cyanotypes that I recall viewing. What technical and aesthetic challenges do you anticipate in addition to coating?

    Tom.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kershaw View Post
    David,

    30"x24" is certainly a significant step up in size from your approximately 8"x10"? cyanotypes that I recall viewing. What technical and aesthetic challenges do you anticipate in addition to coating?

    Tom.
    Hi Tom

    As far as technical challenges, these will be enlarging my negatives to that size, I have worked up to 20x16 but not consistently. Also calibrating my workflow with a friend of mine who has a completely different set up to me, his vacuum frame is around 8ft x 6 ft and he uses an 3k HID lamp. These should be overcome with practice and a good few step wedges. Obviously handling such large sheets of sensitised paper and developing will be a challenge, aswell as drying.

    Practice will be key and a lot of patience, I expect there to be quite a high failure rate initially, however I think this is part of the course. Silverprint can supply dev trays upto 4 ft, I have found a much cheaper supplier for Cyanotype II which helps, as I will need about ½ litre to begin with.

    In relation to aesthetic challenges can you give examples of what you are you referring to, as I am bit confused as to what you mean. The final print might exhibit more grain, however for prints of 30x24 the viewing distance will be quite different to my smaller work so I am hoping this will not be a problem.
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  4. #4
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    Air brush?

    Float paper in a tray of Cyanotype chemicals?

    What a great challenge! vaughn
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

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    Davec101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    Air brush?

    Float paper in a tray of Cyanotype chemicals?

    What a great challenge! vaughn
    Air brush did not think of that. Floating is a good idea although i would imagine i would have to use at least a litre of sensitiser in a tray which even though its cyanotype II would be least £80 worth of chemicals which is quite expensive if it were to get contaminated and the like. Might be worth a try though.
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  6. #6
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    Another possibility is a small paint roller -- the ones that are about 2 cm or so in diameter and about 15 cm long. They would be non-abrasive to the paper. I suppose one could use the full sized ones, but they would absorb a lot of the chemistry. Another possibility would be those paint pads -- rectangular with the fuzz.

    One could practice on smaller sheets of paper (or even full size) using just water and seeing how much liquid is needed and how to get an even coating...or put food coloring in the water for a better visual clue, but the sheets of paper would not be able to be used for the real thing.

    80 pounds for a liter of Cyanotype II!! Ouch! I just worked out how much it costs us to make up 2 liters of the Classic cyanotype formula .. about US$25 (with tax and shipping)...less if the two chemicals are bought in larger amounts.
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  7. #7
    q_x
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    I've never coated such big sheets, but I'm a mural painter also .
    Flat big brush and foam roller both will work. With brush you just have to work fast, to have last stroke wet when applying next one. This will make even coat. You can apply several coats, maybe 3 will be OK. Dipping in half-pipe tray with some cylinder weight inside will work (my friend used such thing to seize 100x70 cm sheets), but it will take more solution to cover paper on both sides.
    If you're not in hurry, you can build coating apparatus (with half-pipe tray and overflooded liquid inside), one of this when paper only touches the surface of the liquid, and the surplus liquid is reused. If you need a sketch, I can make it. Feel free to post me to: luke.jastrzebski at gmail. com.
    Use the Force, Luke!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Davec101 View Post
    Hi Tom

    As far as technical challenges, these will be enlarging my negatives to that size, I have worked up to 20x16 but not consistently. Also calibrating my workflow with a friend of mine who has a completely different set up to me, his vacuum frame is around 8ft x 6 ft and he uses an 3k HID lamp. These should be overcome with practice and a good few step wedges. Obviously handling such large sheets of sensitised paper and developing will be a challenge, aswell as drying.

    Practice will be key and a lot of patience, I expect there to be quite a high failure rate initially, however I think this is part of the course. Silverprint can supply dev trays upto 4 ft, I have found a much cheaper supplier for Cyanotype II which helps, as I will need about ½ litre to begin with.

    In relation to aesthetic challenges can you give examples of what you are you referring to, as I am bit confused as to what you mean. The final print might exhibit more grain, however for prints of 30x24 the viewing distance will be quite different to my smaller work so I am hoping this will not be a problem.
    I'd have thought agitating 4ft trays might generate a few issues but I presume the sensitized paper needs to be processed flat. The Fotospeed price for Cyanotype II sensitizer is £142.49 inc VAT for 1 litre so I presume your new supplier is one that is cheaper than the Fotospeed product.

    In terms of aesthetic challenges I was referring principally to the substantial increase in size.

    Tom.

  9. #9
    Davec101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kershaw View Post
    I'd have thought agitating 4ft trays might generate a few issues but I presume the sensitized paper needs to be processed flat. The Fotospeed price for Cyanotype II sensitizer is £142.49 inc VAT for 1 litre so I presume your new supplier is one that is cheaper than the Fotospeed product.

    In terms of aesthetic challenges I was referring principally to the substantial increase in size.

    Tom.
    Yeah 4ft trays would be slightly tricky but am sure its not too difficult. B&S can supply 1 litre for around £76 so its a no brainer really, i am getting used to this sort of cost as platinum costs the same for 10ml !! My friend will print out A1 size transparencys for £12 so i am saving money there which wil help.
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  10. #10
    Davec101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    Another possibility is a small paint roller -- the ones that are about 2 cm or so in diameter and about 15 cm long. They would be non-abrasive to the paper. I suppose one could use the full sized ones, but they would absorb a lot of the chemistry. Another possibility would be those paint pads -- rectangular with the fuzz.

    One could practice on smaller sheets of paper (or even full size) using just water and seeing how much liquid is needed and how to get an even coating...or put food coloring in the water for a better visual clue, but the sheets of paper would not be able to be used for the real thing.

    80 pounds for a liter of Cyanotype II!! Ouch! I just worked out how much it costs us to make up 2 liters of the Classic cyanotype formula .. about US$25 (with tax and shipping)...less if the two chemicals are bought in larger amounts.
    Thanks for your advice, I might try some traditional Cyanotype to start off learning how to coat large sheets as it sounds so much cheaper. I will have a check with silverprint to see how much it will be over here.
    Platinum Printing Editions http://www.dceditions.com
    The Art of Platinum Printing Blog http://artofplatinum.wordpress.com/
    Alternative Photographic Processes blog http://altphotoblog.com/

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